DIYdiy projects

diy project: anneli’s rag pillows

by Grace Bonney

this fun project comes from d*s reader anneli martin of bird and lard. anneli had an old bed linen and a duvet cover that she didn’t want to throw away, so she cut them into one inch strips and crocheted these two giant floor pillows. i think the result is fantastic, and definitely a great way to spend a cold winter day indoors. anneli was kind enough to share the full project steps after the jump- happy crocheting!

CLICK HERE for the full project steps for anneli’s rag pillows

Anneli’s Rag Pillows


-1 old cotton bed sheet or a fitted sheet
-1 10mm crochet needle
-Matching fabric for the pillow
-Sewing machine
-Matching thread

Step 1 – Cutting

Step 2 – Crocheting the circle

Step 3 – Sewing the “Under pillow”

Step 4 – Stitching the crocheted pillow to the under pillow.

Old bed sheets are the best materials for this project because multiple washing makes the fibers more durable and resistant to tear since it will have raw edges.

Start cutting the sheet in a circular pattern. You want a continuous ribbon and no sharp corners. Strip should be a little less than one inch wide.

Once your sheet is transformed into a giant yarn ball, you can start crocheting.

To make a flat circle you need to increase each round. I don’t use a formula, I just increase as I go but this link can be useful for some tips.


You want the center to be pretty solid so don’t make the first chain too long, 3 link stitches should be enough to close the circle and start going around. I used the basic single stitch to keep it tight.

Crocheting will take very little time when using such thick material and a large needle.

One bed sheet will make about 30 inch circle.

Use your crocheted circle to measure the fabric you picked to match the top .

Cut two circles of fabric that are about ½” inches larger than the finished project.

Sew the front and back of the pillow together with the right sides of the fabric facing each other, leaving a 4 inch section open.

Turn the pillow in-side-out through the hole. Use your hands to gently pull the fabric through the hole.

Stuff with generous amounts of fiberfill. Fill until the pillow is as puffy as you desire.

Sew the hole closed using a needle and thread.

Finally hand stitch the crocheted top to your pillow around the edge.

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  • Hi, This is a great project. I’ll have to learn how to crochet… but a great incentive :) What size of bed sheet makes the approx. 30 inch pillow? I would transform the pillow into dog beds for dashounds and a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks for posting this project.

  • for faster cutting, you could carefully fold the sheet and use a rotary cutter to slice strips.
    for smaller clothes, like t-shirts–cut them in a spiral so as to make the longest strips possible :)

  • Never crocheted, but willing to learn…..how long would one of these take assuming I picked up the basics relatively quickly?

  • thank you so much for the great tutorial, Anneli, & Grace for posting this. i’ve been searching for a how-to on this sub for ages.
    i was wondering however, if one could use scrap paper gone through the wolf as stuffing as well? thought it’d be a bit cheaper, but not quite sure about it staying in shape and what-not. ideas anyone? :)

  • Inspired by Anneli Martin, I made a smaller version of this wonderful rag pillow, 28cm in diameter. I thought that little ones can use it to sit on in winter when all the floors in the house are freezing cold. I may add that my little girl, 3.5 year old, is loving it… I love the idea of using different fabrics when knitting or crocheting, it certainly adds texture… I absolutely love it, thank you to Anneli and Design Sponge for sharing it…

  • Love this! You could use flannel sheets in the case of living in colder climates. This project would be great to make on a smaller scale for seat cushions on my bistro set. It would be very easy to add small ties to secure them.

  • I love this project! Thank you for sharing! Just a quick question, (Im a newbie to crocheting), are you working in only the back stitch?

  • These pillows are perfect I love DIY projects and hate to be wastefull. I actually have the same breed of cat only he is grey and white, and he is just as snooty as he looks but he loves these pillows thank you for the great idea !!

  • What a wonderful wonderful idea for using old sheets! I have so many and couldn’t throw them away. Thanks for such a great idea!

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